Online help for businesses

Queenstown marketer Dave Hockly wants to help small businesses grow. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Queenstown marketer Dave Hockly wants to help small businesses grow. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
One Queenstown man is taking advantage of the tourist centre's growing reputation as a business district by helping small businesses market themselves.

Originally from Wellington, Dave Hockly (24) said he had always had a passion for the small guy in business, which led him to create his own brand, emanbee, during his university study.

Emanbee is an online marketing service for small Kiwi businesses to help create the online strategies, websites, mobile sites, and social media sites needed for business survival today.

Mr Hockly has now set up for good in Queenstown and hopes to gain clients from businesses ranging from small to large.

''I fell in love with marketing at Victoria uni in Wellington. The strategies and thinking behind really clever branding and business is what I am focused on.''

''Once I got out of uni, I realised there was a big difference between the textbook marketing and real-life small Kiwi businesses, which our economy is built on.''

His passion for marketing led to his success in small businesses Twin Rivers and Sycamore. He still has marketing and directing roles in both of them.

After university, Mr Hockly had done some study of his own and become savvy about the online world.

''I continually read, as I'm on a mission to master small business marketing. Online is a crazy world, because information is free and often it's more up-to-date and relevant than a lot of books.

''That's because the internet has transformed the way we communicate. It's in real time.''

For the reason of immediacy, Mr Hockly said he would like to teach his customers how to use the websites he would create for them, as well as help with branding.

''If I can't do something, I can't expect my customers to be able to use it. So I want to be able to show them exactly how to use these tools at minimal cost to them.''

He said marketing brands like Swordfox and Fluid were inspirational in his own thinking and he would like to get to a similar position in his own business one day.

''The trick is to grow organically, get a portfolio and get people talking about your business.''

He said marketing was not about ''paying big dollars for billboards and TV adds that you can't measure the effect of'' and the online world was where a small business succeeded or failed.

''If you're a hairdresser, for example, people will ask their friends or Google `haircut Queenstown'. You want your business to be one of the first to pop up on their screens.''

About 10.3 billion searches are made on Google a month, many of which are local, for local products, and 63% of those local searches result in purchases he said.

His aim was not to sign up big-paying corporate clients but to ''work with business owners that are passionate about what they do''.

''There is so much great stuff you can do in terms of marketing with such a small budget. I'm talking good-looking, fully functional websites.''

''You can compete with the big boys if you're creative enough.''

Mr Hockly said he wanted to target Queenstown businesses because there was a clear growing business market, as well as many choosing to locate there for the lifestyle.

''If you love to wakeboard on the lake, use your business to share and promote that lifestyle. If you're bored by your marketing, then so is everyone else.

''Marketing strategy will tell you to appeal to people's core emotions and there is so much of that to be done in a place like this. We are the envy of the world.''